Austroads to lead development of Digital Trust Service

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Thursday, 15 February, 2024

Austroads to lead development of Digital Trust Service

Austroads is seeking partners to develop a Digital Trust Service that will initially be focused on verifying digital driver licences and proof of age credentials.

The government-funded agency, an association of Australian and New Zealand transport agencies, plans to lead a national pilot for verifiable credentials this year, working closely with issuing authorities of digital credentials across the two markets.

Austroads plans to release an expression of interest later this month to seek experienced providers capable of contributing to the goal of nationally harmonising digital driver licences and other photo IDs. The planned Digital Trust Service will be based on the International Standards Organisation standard ISO 18013-5, and will seek to ensure that digital drive licences can provide robust privacy protection, security and cross-border compatibility.

The pilot will build on Austroads’ role in developing the National Document Verification Service for driver licences. The agency has led development of digital credentialing standards with partner peak bodies from the US and Europe since 2018. The global partnership also consists of vendors including Google, Apple, Samsung, Thales, Idemia, HID, NEC and Get Up Group.

Austroads CEO Dr Geoff Allan said Austroads plans to bring technology already in use in Europe and North America to Australia.

“More than 80% of the adult population have a driver licence and use it as a form of identity. Harmonising digital driver licences across all jurisdictions is an important and complementary step to the larger national digital identity agenda,” he said.

The project will be led by Austroads’ new National Harmonisation Lead – Digital Identity, Christopher Goh, who previously led the development and pilot for the Queensland Digital Licence.

“We will work closely with issuing authorities of digital credentials across Australia and New Zealand,” Goh said. “We also maintain a strong rapport with our North American and European counterparts. Our pilot aims to demonstrate the feasibility of verifying credentials across Australia and to coordinate tests with our international partners, ensuring international alignment.”

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